Sunday, 22 January 2012

Fingers crossed

I may have my old pony back.

Felix and I have had a rough month, as he started spooking quite badly at everything - and generally having bad attitude, complete with bucking and flinging his head around constantly.

Wednesday I finally had it with the shennanigans, and put him in side reins. I'm not a huge fan of longing, but I figured if he ran into the side reins every time he flailed with his face, he'd learn.  We did about 40 minutes of longing - this took longer then expected due to the fact that you have to pay extra attention to him on the right rein or he'll stop and get wrapped in the longe line. By the time we were done all I felt like he was up to doing was a ridden cool-out at the walk, which was uneventful.

Then, he got 4 days off. I was not feeling well, and the winter weather does not inspire me to do much more then sleep.  I got back out there today, he got a short longe session - then I got on and it was 100% back to buisness as usual.  One of the young riders from the barn, Bailey got on him and hopped him over a few Xes. This also went very well - I'm going to try letting her ride him while I'm on vacation next month.  There are a few of the kids I really wish I could take with me when I move and she's definitely one of them.  It'll be amazing to have the arena to myself though!

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Only a month away

Untill moving day for us! 

Felix will be going to Sandy's farm around the 15th of Febuary, which means we'll have acess to hacking again - YAY! It'll be nice to be in a quieter place with less lessons to work around and less unexpected noises outside the arena.

We had a good ride yesterday and today, in spite of it being absolutely frigid, I'm working out what he needs for a successful ride this time of year.

First of all - Longing is required. I THINK it's because since the ground froze they're not moving around as much, which adds to the kinda scary spring in his step if I try to just get on and ride as usual.
Second - There is no reason we have to use the whole arena.  If he's getting distracted by the stuff at the end of the ring, it is entirely OK to put him back to work by peeling off onto a circle, or cutting off the end all together, as long as it is done deliberately with nice bend, flexion, etc.

Anyways - this seems simple, but it's a breakthrough for me. 

Friday, 13 January 2012


Last weekend we participated in a clinic at the farm - all in all, it was pretty dismal, the only thing I learned was that falling off doesn't really hurt so much as I imagine! I'm not going to name the clinician, as I was not terribly impressed with her.  I felt like she'd make an amazing regular coach, but not worth it for a one-off clinic.  Fortunately it was vastly cheaper then the Jessica Phoenix clinic, so I didn't feel it was too much of a waste.

We started off with a lot of just flatwork, with leg yeilds in either direction as I usually do.  The clinician spend a lot more time on flatwork and jumping on everyone's horse then I'd normally prefer, but it was good for me, as Felix has been a spooky moron the last few weeks and she did help me out by getting him over it.

We moved on to gridwork, which is where it got a little hairy.  Felix is a nice jumper, but he's the type of ride you have to push for every stride.  If you take your leg off, he's going to loose rythym.  That's just how he rolls.  Anyways, we were instructed to do poles in two-point.  This is OK, as we've been practicing this so he'll do it well for Sarah.  As soon as there was a jump there he just died though, then we tripped on the 2nd fence.  He recovered - and I was left hanging off his side like a monkey.  Has we been on course I probably could have climbed back up into the saddle and continued, but I decided it was just too much work and let go.  On top of all this, he was also running out due to the fact that I can't ride as effectively without my seat.

I did managed to get him through the excersize - but I was not impressed with being ignored when I mentioned that he was not normally jumped with a rider in two-point before the fence.  He's not dirty - but he's smart. If you leave the door open, he's going to go through it... that's just how it is.

Anyways, the rest of the day went without incident - and I did get a complement on having excelent leg stability and position so that was kinda nice!

There is some other news to share next week - I just don't want to post it on the blog untill certain people have been notified.

Other then that, it's getting friggin COLD here. I'm going to try to suck it up and ride anyways tomorrow, hopefully I won't turn into a total popsicle!

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Improve your riding through better undergarments....

I’ve always been a naturally “over endowed” girl, I normally wear a 34DDD. 
Over Christmas I finally broke down and bought a couple of the Enell sports bras that have been highly recommended by the girls on COTH and a few other places. Managed to get a set of 2 on Ebay for $75, which is about half for reg. retail (yay!).
I’ve had about 4 rides in them since then – and they are absolutely AMAZING. The first lesson I had back there was a lot of “your upper body is much better today” from my coach. This was mostly because I was not hunching from the weight of the “girls”. It’s improved just about everything in my riding at least slightly, from my sitting trot, to jumping position, to hands and everything.
It’s not entirely sunshine and roses – the band felt a little restrictive when I first put it on, but they are actually supposed to fit that way. As I got used to the fit though I notice it less and less, so hopefully I’ll be able to make it all day at a show in it. It’s also not a fashion statement. You wouldn’t want to wear a V neck, and they do give you serious uniboob, but I’ll take both of these to improve my riding through better undergarments!
Anyways, just thought I’d share as the topic has come up on here a few times, and well no one else understands!
As a side note, I had a lesson this afternoon. It was very hectic because of school still being out for the kids, but I do think we had an OK ride even with all the spooking and nonsence. 

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

It's -20 here...

And i've been totally uninspired to ride this week.  I'll be paying Devan for a few rides this week, then we have a Paige Lockton clinic on the weekend we'll be riding in (I'll be dragging my sorry self out to the barn tomorrow - saturday for sure.